Exposition of the Holy Quran – 09 Surah At-Taubah (G A Parwez)
Surah 9: At-Taubah
(1-3) (As already stated in 2:144, the Rasool and the Jamat-ul-Momineen in Madinah constantly yearned to have possession of, and jurisdiction over, Makkah which Allah had decided would be the centre of the divine order. It took about eight long years of hard struggle and frequent wars to conquer Makkah in the 8th year of Hijra (migration from Makkah). Treaties were made with the opponents, the mushrikeen, who violated them frequently. In view of this a proclamation was made by the divine system at the occasion of the grand assembly of Hajj.) O mushrikeen! The divine order with which you had made a treaty is now absolved of it. However, you are free to move about in the land as you like for a period of four months. Mind that you do nothing to sabotage the system; otherwise you will be put to humiliation. If you desist from your mischief, it will be better for you. But if you revolt, you should know that it will not be possible for you to weaken the divine order, and a painful chastisement shall await you.
(4) The above proclamation does not apply to those who have not violated their treaties with the divine order nor aided anyone against it. Therefore, execute the terms of the treaty as agreed to for the period of its duration. Allah likes those who honour their commitments.
(5) If after the expiry of these forbidden (four) months, the mushrikeen still persist in their mischief, you should wage war against them, capture them, lay siege upon them and lie in wait for them and ambush them. But if they desist and (having accepted Islam voluntarily) join you in the establishment of the Nizam-us-Sala and Zaka, do not pursue them any longer for Allah is protector and Raheem (9:11).
(6) If anyone of the enemies (mushrikeen) seeks your protection, grant him asylum and explain Allah’s laws to him. Then, if he desires to go back, provide him safe conduct to his place of security. He does not know how beneficial it is for him to live under the umbrella of the divine order as a Muslim or even as a non-Muslim.
(7) How can the treaties with these enemies be trusted by the divine order when they are violated at every opportunity. The exception is those who made the treaty at Ka’bah and kept it – as long as they keep it you should do likewise. Allah likes those who honour their commitments.
(8-9) How can the treaties of the mushrikeen be trusted? They are a people who, whenever they have a slight edge over you, respect neither the ties of kinship nor any agreement that they have entered into. They want to keep you happy with cajolery while their faces belie their hearts. The majority of them are fasiqeen. They barter the terms of the treaty for paltry gains and turn others aside from the path of Allah. How evil is that which they do!
(10) So far from adhering to the terms of the treaties made with the divine order, they do not even respect their ties of relationship with the believers. They transgress beyond the limits of social relationships (42:23).
(11) If they voluntarily accept Islam and join you in the establishment of the Nizam-us-Sala and Zaka, you should regard them as brothers in Islam. Thus We make Our directives clear to people of understanding.
(12) But if after taking the oath of alliance with you, they break it and taunt and revile your deen, then there will be no alternative for you but to engage in war against their archetypes of kufr so that they may desist from further mischief.
(13) Just think – what hesitation could there possibly be in fighting against those who break their oaths so frequently, who expelled the Rasool and attacked you first? Do you fear them? If you are true momineen, you should fear only the consequences of disobeying Allah’s laws.
(14-15) So, wage war against them. Allah will chastise them through your instrumentality, and put them to shame by giving you victory over them – victory which will relieve you of fear and anxiety on account of your enemies. Despite this, the doors of repentance are still open to them. This is how Allah’s law operates. He knows and is wise (8:17, 22:40).
(16) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Do you think that the victory promised to you will come to you even if you do nothing? After your profession of faith, it will be made known who amongst you struggled hard in the cause of Allah and befriended none other than Allah, the Rasool and the Jamat-ul-Momineen. Allah is fully apprised of what you do (2:214, 3:141, 29:1-2).
(17) It is obvious that the masajid (mosques) – the centres of the divine order – should not be maintained by the mushrikeen whose rejection of this order is self-evident. All their activities will go waste and in fire they shall abide.
(18) These masajid should only be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the hereafter, establish Nizam-us-Sala and Zaka and expect to follow the right path.
(19) It is true that the mushrikeen used to provide drinking water to the pilgrims and maintain the sacred mosque but, can they be placed equal to those who believe in Allah and the life hereafter and strive hard in the cause of Allah? They cannot be regarded as equal in the estimation of Allah. The zalimeen can in no way be considered as following the right path.
(20) Mark that those who believe in Allah and the life hereafter and who abandon their homes, and struggle in the cause of Allah with their possessions and their persons, rank high in the estimation of Allah. These are they who will attain success.
(21-22) They receive glad tidings of rahma from their Rabb and of lasting bliss. They harmonize their lives with Allah’s laws and, as a result, they live blissfully beyond the count of time. This is a great reward for them from Allah.
(23) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Do not take your fathers, or your brothers, for friends if they prefer kufr to eiman and, whosoever amongst you will do so, will be deemed to be from the zalimeen.
(24) O Rasool! Tell the momineen, “If your fathers, and your children, and your brothers, and your wives, and your kith and kin, and the wealth that you have acquired, and the merchandise whose depreciation you fear, and the dwellings of which you are very fond – are dearer to you than the divine order and striving in the cause of Allah, then wait and see what Allah’s Law of Mukafat will disclose. You know well that fasiqeen cannot follow the path leading to a blissful life.”
(25-27) It is a fact that Allah has helped you on many previous occasions, especially on the day of the battle of Hunain. You were misled by your larger numbers which could, however, be of no avail to you. Despite its vastness, the earth straitened on you and you had to turn back from the battle. It was then that Allah, through unseen hosts, infused in the hearts of the Rasool and the momineen the spirit of self-assurance and they defeated the kafireen as they deserved to. Your faltering was unintentional; hence Allah gave you protection (3:125, 8:10, 9:40, 41:30).
(28) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! The custodianship of the Ka’bah cannot be with the mushrikeen on account of their impurity of heart(1). They should, therefore, not come near the Sacred Mosque after this year. If you fear that their absence will be detrimental to your business and will impoverish you, remember that you will receive such abundant nurture from Allah in accordance with His laws that you will no longer remain needy. Allah is knowing and wise.
(29) In addition to the mushrikeen, there are the Ahl-ul-Kitab who oppose the divine order in the same manner. They do not truly believe in Allah and the life hereafter (2:137). They live within the boundaries of the Islamic system as non-Muslims and enjoy full human rights but do not adhere to the laws which apply to them. There is, therefore, no alternative but to fight with them, too, until they surrender and agree to pay the exemption tax (jizya) with a willing hand after having been subdued in war.
(30) The Jews have taken Osiris (the Egyptian god) as the son of Allah, and the Christians have taken the Messiah to be the son of Allah. They utter such words without thinking in imitation of the kafireen before them who used to entertain similar beliefs. (They deserve the imprecation) “May Allah destroy them”! How they are deluded away from the truth!
(31-33) Not only do they create sons of Allah, the Jews also take their rabbis and priests for Allah and the Christians deify Jesus although they were all enjoined to obey only Allah except Whom none has authority in the universe and Who is far above those whom people set up as His peers (18:26,
Their ardent desire is to extinguish the light of Allah with such utterances but Allah will not allow (this to pass) for He has willed to spread His light in fullness – no matter how much the kafireen abhor it. For this purpose, He has sent His Rasool with true guidance and a divine order which should prevail over all human orders, much to the dislike of the mushrikeen (48:28).
(34-35) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! A good many of the monks and priests(2) devour the property of others and turn them away from Allah’s path. There are others who hoard gold and silver and do not keep it open for use in the way of Allah. For both there are tidings of grievous chastisement. On the day of reckoning, the gold and silver will be heated in the fire of jahannam and their foreheads, sides and backs will be branded therewith, and it will be said to them, “This is what you had treasured up for your exclusive use and deprived the needy of it. Now, taste your treasures which you had amassed (70:18, 104:6-7).”
(36) According to Allah’s Law of Nature, there are twelve months in a year ever since that law has been in operation. Of these, four are sacred months during which waging war is prohibited – this is the right system (2:217). Do not wrong yourselves by initiating warfare during these months. But if, notwithstanding the sacred character of these months, the mushrikeen attack you in a body, you can do likewise and always remember that Allah is with those who adhere to His laws.
(37) Remember! Those months in which Allah has forbidden war are not to be intercalated. (This in fact amounts to violating the treaties and the international law.) Such intercalation is but one more
instance of their refusal to acknowledge the truth – a means by which those who are bent upon denying the truth are led astray. They declared a month to be sacred one year, but made it sacrilegious the next – thus making the number of months sanctified accord with theirs. And by such adjustments the months forbidden by Allah are made lawful by them. The gains that accrued to them in this way, seemed very fair to them; but Allah does not grace with His guidance people who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
(38-39) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Sometimes, it so happens that when you are asked to march forth in the cause of Allah, some weak-minded amongst you act as though they are rooted in the earth. They prefer worldly gains to the blessings of the life hereafter although the gains offered by the life of this world are insignificant as compared to what the life in the hereafter offers. Remember, if you do not march forth Allah will certainly chastise you with a serious chastisement – that He will replace you with another people (47:38, 70:41). You can do no harm to Allah since He has control over everything. (21:10).
(40) If you do not assist your Rasool in the establishment of the divine order, (know that Allah will do so – just as) Allah helped him at the time when kuffar drove him away (out of Makkah) with only one by his side and the two had repaired into a cave when the Rasool had said to his companion, “Grieve not. Be certain that Allah is with us” (and will not let our enemies triumph over us). Thus did Allah set his heart at ease and assist him (during the battle of Badr) by means of unseen hosts (9:26). The purpose of this confrontation was that the man-made systems of the kafireen should be defeated and Allah’s system should prevail triumphantly – for Allah is almighty, wise.
(41) Therefore, O Jamat-ul-Momineen, do not consider yourselves weak. March forth in the cause of Allah with whatever equipment you have – light or heavy – and strive with all your possessions and your lives. This will bring you good if you can understand it.
(42) As far as the hypocrites are concerned, they create problems when the occasion for war arises. If they were assured of a speedy gain and the journey was not too arduous, they would readily agree to follow you. But if the circumstances were adverse, they would make excuses for not participating, swearing by Allah, “Had we been able to go, we would certainly have gone forth with you.” By their false oaths they harm only themselves because Allah knows that they are liars.
(43) O Rasool! Allah forgives you! Why did you permit them so readily to stay away? If you had waited for a while they would have exposed themselves and thus given you an opportunity to tell apart those who were truly staunch in their eiman and those who were liars.
(44) The truth is that those who truly believe in Allah and in the life hereafter will never ask to be exempted from fighting with their possessions and lives in the cause of Allah. Allah knows well about the muttaqeen.
(45) Exemption is sought only by those who do not truly believe in Allah and the life hereafter, whose hearts are filled with doubt which makes them hesitant to act.
(46) It is obvious that if they had intended truly to set out with you they would have made some preparations for doing so but Allah was averse to their taking to the field, so He caused them to hold back, when it was said (you may) stay at home, along with all the others who stay at home.
(47) If they had accompanied you they would have added nothing to your strength but mischief and also created disaffection amongst your ranks by scurrying to and fro; from which, some who were like them, would have readily paid heed to them. And Allah has full knowledge of the evil-doers.
(48) What they are doing is nothing new – they have done it before when they attempted to stir up disaffection amongst your followers and contrived, in diverse ways, to make things difficult for you till the truth prevailed and Allah’s order succeeded despite their chagrin.
(49) Of these hypocrites there are some who individually ask for your permission to stay away and be spared the trouble of going to war. Mark! Is not their present behaviour a cause for their own trouble? The fact is that jahannam certainly encompasses them.
(50) If success betides you, it grieves them; if adversity overtakes you, they say to themselves, “We were careful to protect ourselves in advance.” Rejoicing, they turn away.
(51) Say to them, “Whatever will befall us will be in accordance with Allah’s Law of Mukafat. He alone is our protector and so in Him alone the momineen should repose their complete trust.”
(52) Say to them, “You are simply waiting to see which of the two events – defeat or success – befalls us. We welcome both. (In case of defeat, if we are slain, a life of eternal bliss will be our reward. If we are victorious, it will help us continue our struggle for the establishment of the divine order). On our part, we will wait to see Allah chastising you by external means or through us (9:14). So, you wait and surely we shall also wait with you.”
(53) If these hypocrites want to avert the trouble of going to war by making a financial contribution, tell them, “Whether you make this offer willingly or unwillingly, it cannot be accepted, for you are surely a people who are deeply-entrenched fasiqeen.”
(54) Tell them that the reason why their contribution cannot be accepted is that they are opposed to the divine order set up by the Rasool, and they only join the assembly of sala languidly, and do not make their contribution except reluctantly (4:142, 107:5).
(55) It is a fact that they have great riches and a large tribe. This should not, however, amaze you. It is these things which will become a cause for devastation in this life (9:85) and they will not depart from here except in a state of kufr.
(56) They will swear by Allah that they are indeed one of you while they are not. They are cowardly and use hypocrisy to shield their cowardice.
(57) If they could find a place of refuge, a cavern or a crevice in the earth, they would rush towards it in headlong haste.
(58) There are some whose meanness goes to such an extent that they try to defame you, O Rasool, and allege that you have been partial in the distribution of sadaqat. The fact is that, if they had been given as much as they wanted, they would have been pleased, but since they were not, they fell into a fury against you.
(59) How good it would have been for them if they had felt satisfied with their due share given to them by the divine order and said that their association with this order was enough for them, and that in the future also they would continue to get their share and would refer their needs to the divine order (59:6)!
(60) Sadaqat (donations) are meant for:
- The indigent (2:273)
- Those who are incapacitated to earn their livelihood (90:15-16)
- Those who are employed in the collection and administration of sadaqat
- Helping those who sincerely wish to join the divine order but are unable to do so due to financial difficulties
- Setting free those in bondage (90:13)
- Those who are unduly burdened financially
- Those who strive in the cause of Allah and
- Stranded travellers
This is an ordinance from Allah who is all-knowing and wise.
(61) There are some [amongst the hypocrites] who wish to annoy the Rasool by slander. They say that he lends an easy ear to one and all and is gullible. Tell them, O Rasool, that it is in their own interest that he listens to everyone. But he is not gullible because he believes in the laws of Allah and trusts the word of the believers. He is, therefore rahma to such of you as believe, and those who annoy the Rasool shall suffer a grievous chastisement (17:36, 49:6).
(62) One of the strategies of the hypocrites is to bypass the divine order and to win over individual momineen to their side by means of oaths. Tell them, O Rasool, that it would be more appropriate for them to abide by the divine order instead of trying to win over individual momineen.
(63) Do they not know that for those who oppose the divine order, there is the fire of hell in store – therein to abide! There is no ignominy greater than this.
(64) The hypocrites are fearful lest a surah be revealed which would disclose what is hidden in their hearts. Say to them O Rasool, “Go ahead with your mockery. Allah will in any case, lay bare that of which you are fearful.”
(65) If you ask them, O Rasool, why they indulge in such mockery, they will surely say, “We were amusing ourselves with light talk.” Say to them, “Do you amuse yourselves at the expense of Allah, His revelations and His Rasool?”
(66) All these are lame excuses. The fact is that they have returned to kufr after professing eiman. Some of them have done so knowingly. They are the real criminals and must be punished. Those who have followed them unknowingly and repent for their deeds may be forgiven.
(67) The hypocrites, whether men or women, are all alike. They enjoin what is forbidden by Allah’s law and forbid what is recognized by this law to be good; they are close-fisted in the matter of spending for the cause of Allah. They have forsaken Allah completely and have overstepped the bounds of uprightness. Allah has also forsaken them (59:19).
(68) The recompense for the hypocrites, men or women, and the kafireen is jahannam wherein they will dwell – this recompense is adequate in itself. They will be deprived of the blessings of Allah and long lasting chastisement awaits them.
(69) (Tell them that) you have become just like the people who lived before your time. They were more powerful than you, had greater wealth and larger progeny. They enjoyed their share of these things for a limited period (and then perished). Likewise you also enjoy your share of good things of life for some time; and the way they wasted their lives in frivolous things, you also continue to do that.
(But remember one thing) these are the people whose entire work and activities – whether they are for this world or for the hereafter – all lay waste. So it is they, the entire lot of them, who are the losers.
(70) Have they not heard of those who lived before them – of the people of Noah and of Aad and of Thamud and of the people of Abraham and of those who dwelt in Midian and of the cities uprooted? Their rusul came to them with clear teachings but they did not pay heed to them and were destroyed. It is not the way of Allah to harm unjustly any people but people harm themselves.
(71-72) On the other hand, believers – men and women – are friends to each other. They enjoin what is recognized as good by the Qur’an and forbid that which the Qur’an does not so recognize. They establish the Nizam-us-Sala and Zaka. They follow the divine order. They receive rahma from Allah Who is powerful and wise. To them, men as well as women, Allah has promised gardens wherein flow streams and wherein they shall abide in goodly mansions erected in the midst of perpetual greenery. They shall also have another blessing still higher than these – a life harmonious with Allah’s plan. This indeed is the highest achievement which human beings can attain (9:100, 47:26-28, 57:12, 66:8, 76:30).
(73) O Rasool! Strive against the kafireen and the munafiqeen and be strict with them because they have gone too far in their treachery. Their ultimate destination will be jahannam which is a very trying destination.
(74) They always talk about kufr amongst themselves. Indeed they have reverted to kufr after outwardly professing Islam. They devise ineffective plans against you. But, when they are asked about this, they swear by Allah that they have never done any such thing. They act maliciously towards the Believers out of envy for what the divine order had bestowed upon the latter. If they repent even now, it would be better for them but, if they revert to their former way of life, Allah will chastise them with a grievous chastisement in this world as also in the hereafter. They shall not have any friend or helper on earth.
(75-76) Some of them had made a pledge to Allah, if Allah gave them riches out of His bounty they would certainly contribute towards the cause of Allah and thus be amongst the saliheen. But when Allah gave them riches out of His bounty, they became miserly and retracted from their covenant.
(77) Thus hypocrisy clung to their hearts until the day of reckoning. This was because they had not kept their promise to Allah and had lied.
(78) Do they not know that Allah is aware of their secrets and their whisperings amongst themselves? Allah is aware of all that is kept hidden.
(79) Their meanness goes to such an extent that they say to those momineen, who have the means to contribute to the cause of Allah, that they do so for the sake of show, and they scoff at those who can offer only their services saying that they are paupers. Their scoffing will return to them in the form of grievous chastisement.
(80) O Rasool! You grieve about them and desire that they should be protected, but this cannot come to pass no matter how ardently you desire it. This is because they have stubbornly rejected the divine order. Such fasiqeen can in no way follow the right path (4:64, 63:5-6).
(81) O Rasool, those hypocrites, who did not accompany you in the expedition, are delighted that they did not obey the Rasool’s orders. They were averse to striving in the cause of Allah with their possessions and their lives. They not only stayed away themselves but also asked others not to go in the hot weather. Say to them, O Rasool, that the fire of jahannam is more intense in heat if they could only understand.
(82) Let them laugh for a while; they shall weep for long as retribution for what they have done.
(83) If after returning from this expedition, some of them, on some other occasion, ask to accompany you to the battlefield, tell them, “By no means shall you ever go to the battlefield along with me or fight the enemy by my side. You were very happy to sit at home when you were called before, so now you are free to sit at home along with those who have chosen to lag behind.”
(84) The time has come for you to sever even your social relationships with them. Do not participate even in their funeral rites because they had resisted the divine order till their last day and had died as fasiqeen.
(85) Let not their possessions or the number of their progeny astonish you for these will become the cause of their devastation till their departure from this world (9:55) and they still continue to deny the truth.
(86-87) Whenever a divine command is issued to those faithful to Allah to go forth to battle with His Rasool, such of them (the hypocrites) as have ample means ask for exemption and say, “Permit us to stay away with those who have to sit at home.” They prefer to stay away with those who sit at home. This shows that their hearts are sealed and they have been rendered incapable of understanding.
(88-89) But the Rasool and his companions who believe in Allah strive in the cause of the divine order with their lives and their possessions. All good things of life are for them and they shall prosper. Allah has prepared for them gardens wherein flow streams and where they shall abide; this indeed is a great achievement.
(90-91) Not only the people of towns but also some of the Arab nomads come to you to offer excuses, pleading for permission to stay behind while others, who have gone back upon the pledge they gave to the divine order, sit at home. A grievous chastisement shall soon overtake those who have thus broken their pledges. An exception for staying away from war is made for those who are feeble and ailing and those who have no means to equip themselves for war provided that they sincerely strive for the welfare of the divine order while staying at home; also there is no cause of reproach on the mohsineen, as Allah, most certainly is Ghafoor and Raheem.
(92) Nor shall any blame lie on those who, having no conveyance of their own, came to you, O Rasool, to arrange for them to be mounted and you had to say, “I am sorry that I cannot find anything for you to mount on.” These people had to turn away in anguish, with tears in their eyes for their inability to spend anything in the cause of Allah.
(93) Blame lies on them who, in spite of having ample means, seek your permission to stay away. They prefer to be in the company of those cowards who sit at home and do not go forth for battle. Their hearts are sealed so tight that they have lost their capacity to understand.
(94-95) But when you return from your expedition, they come forward to offer their apologies to you. Say to them, O Rasool, “In no case can we believe you now. Allah had already told us the truth about you (47:30). For the time being, the divine order shall keep a watch on your doings. The Law of Mukafat will lay bare all that you conceal and test all that you profess.” They will appeal to you in the name of Allah not to reprimand them. It is better for you to leave them alone for the time being since their minds are diseased, which is affecting their process of thinking and creating doubts in their hearts. If they do not reform themselves, their destination will be jahannam as a recompense for what they had been doing.
(96) These people think that you are personally annoyed with them and therefore continue to appease you (9:62). This is not the case – there is no question of personal grievance or appeasement. The matter concerns the divine order which will not reconcile with those who remain fasiqeen.
(97) The nomad Arabs are unyielding in their kufr and hypocrisy and so obdurate that they do not appreciate the implications of the orders issued by the divine system, but Allah is all-knowing, wise.
(98) There are some amongst them who regard what they give away in the cause of Allah as a fine imposed on them and always wait for a change in the circumstances whereby they could encompass (one day) for Allah is all-hearing and all-knowing.
(99) On the other hand, there are some amongst them who do believe in Allah, and the life hereafter, and consider what they give in the cause of Allah as a means of securing a high rank with Allah and the appreciation of the Rasool. They will surely secure a high rank which will enable them to enter the rahma of Allah who is both protector and Raheem.
(100) Those amongst the muhajireen (migrants from Makkah) and ansar (Muslims of Madinah ), who were first and foremost in accepting Islam, as well as those who had followed their example in the most noble manner, are those who harmonize their lives with Allah’s laws which are also in accord with them. Allah has prepared for them gardens wherein streams flow, to abide therein beyond the count of time. This indeed is a mighty achievement (8:61- 64, 74, 18:28, 48:29, 57:10).
(101) There are some hypocrites amongst the Arab nomads around you and even amongst the people of al-Madinah who persist in hypocrisy. You do not know them, O Rasool, but We know them (9:94). We will chastise them lightly twice, but thereafter they will have a severe chastisement.
(102) There are others who have admitted their faults. Along with their wrongs they have also done some good. Their repentance is acceptable for Allah is protector and Raheem.
(103) You may therefore accept their contribution. (This would mean that they have been accepted as members of your society and system.) And in association with other members, make arrangements for their education which would purify them (by removing all doubts from their minds) and nourish them. As they grow in their qualities, you should applaud them because your applause will certainly bring them peace of mind. Allah is all-hearing and all-knowing.
(104) Do they not know that Allah accepts the taubah from His ibad (those who obey Him), who, realizing their wrong-doings, promise to undo it (taubah) and then affirm to go straight in future, and He also accepts their contribution (because in the divine system, such a provision exists). (Know that) Allah is oft-returning with all the provisions of nourishment (in fullest measure).
(105) (O Rasool) Tell them that their taubah is accepted, but they have to prove it practically by doing good deeds. Allah, His Rasool (the centre of the divine system) and the Jamat-ul-Momineen (the members of the order) would keep an eye on all their actions; and (in the end) they will appear before Him Who knows all that is beyond the perception of created beings, as well as all that which can be witnessed by a creature’s senses. Then (these actions would be judged according to the Law of Mukafat that) would tell exactly what you had been doing.
(106) (Most of the cases of those who faltered have been decided) only a few have been deferred, awaiting Allah’s command whether they should be punished or forgiven (according to His laws by Him) Who is all-wise.
(107) There are some amongst the hypocrites who have erected a mosque to show that they are true believers. But the purpose of building this mosque is to damage the divine order, promote kufr and cause a split amongst the momineen. This is not a mosque but a base for operations for those who had in the past fought against the divine system. When asked about their intentions, these people will swear that their motive was good, but Allah bears witness that they are none but liars.
(108) O Rasool! You should never step into this mosque (a mosque which causes split in the Muslims is not worthy of your presence.) You have nothing to do with these people or their mosque 6:160) – only that mosque is worthy of your presence which has been founded on taqwa from the beginning and is frequented by those who are pure (from all types of factions and schisms) and are desirous of growing in purity. And Allah loves such people.
(109) Which of the two is better – one who has laid the foundations of his edifice on taqwa and harmony with Allah’s laws, or one who has raised it on the edge of a crumbling bank which is bound to drag him to the fire of jahannam? Zalimeen never follow the right path.
(110) This building which they have built will be a source of constant disquiet to them until their hearts are torn to pieces. Allah is knowing and wise.
(111) On the other hand, there are believers who have entered into a transaction with Allah, through the instrumentality of the divine order, Who purchases their very persons and their worldly possessions in return for the abiding blissful life of janna. They shall fight in the cause of Allah and slay and be slain, and on the part of Allah the promise of janna is binding. Similar promises were also made in the Torah and the Bible and are reiterated here in the Qur’an. Who is better than Allah in fulfilling promises? O believers! Rejoice, then, on the bargain effected which is a great achievement.
(112) Those who have entered into a transaction with Allah are:
- They who, realizing that they have taken a step in the wrong direction, immediately retreat;
- Those who, after deep reflection come to the inevitable conclusion that everything which is created by Allah, deserves hamd and who also strive to make the divine order worthy of that;
- Those who appreciate the creations of Allah (1:1, 3:190, 41:53);
- Those who travel abroad in the cause of Allah;
- Those who bow down and fully surrender before Allah;
- Those who enjoin what has been declared to be right by the Qur’an and forbid the opposite;
- Those who, in short, live within the bounds prescribed by Allah.
O Rasool! Convey glad tidings to these momineen.
(113) It is not befitting for the Nabi and the Jamat-ul-Momineen that they should seek protection for the mushrikeen even though they be near of kin once it has become clear to them that these people are to be the inmates of jahannam.
(114) It may be asked, then, as to why Abraham promised his father to seek protection for him. He had made this promise in the hope that his father might follow the right path. But when it became clear to him that his hopes would not be fulfilled and that his father was an enemy to Allah, he declared himself to be free of him. Abraham was tender-hearted and forbearing (14:41, 19:47, 60:4).
(115) It is not Allah’s way to arbitrarily deprive a people, who are following the right path, of achievements. It is made clear to them what they have to guard themselves against. Doors of prosperity are closed to them if they disobey the directives. Allah is well aware of the circumstances attendant on everyone.
(116) Undoubtedly Allah has supremacy over the entire universe; the life and death of nations is determined according to His Law of Mukafat. Besides Him, there is no friend or helper for you.
(117) Allah bestowed His rahma upon His Nabi and the muhajireen and ansar who had followed him in the hour of distress even though some of them had almost lost their courage. He has now bestowed His rahma on them again.
(118) His rahma has likewise been bestowed upon those three whose cases had not been decided and they had been left in suspense (9:106).
Due to this suspense they felt that the earth, despite its vastness, had become too narrow for them and their very lives had become a burden upon them. They knew that they had no refuge from Allah except in Him. Therefore, Allah turned towards them, so that they may be remorseful of wrongdoing and prepared to reform themselves (taubah). Surely, Allah alone is Tawwab and Raheem.
(119) O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Adhere to the laws of Allah (but this cannot be done individually – for this they will have to) be the associates of those who uphold the truth (2:43, 89:29). (The aim of deen is not individual salvation but collective prosperity and blissful life.)
(120) The people of Madinah and the nomad Arabs dwelling in the surrounding areas had no reason to abandon the Rasool and to prefer their own safety to his (33:61). They did so because they feared the dangers and difficulties of the expedition. The fact is that if they had accompanied the Jamat-ul-Momineen, the thirst, weariness or hunger suffered in the cause of Allah, any step taken by them disagreeable to their enemies, and their success over the latter, every good deed would have been recorded in their favour. Indeed, Allah does not let go waste the reward of those who act righteously.
(121) There is nothing small or great which they spend in the cause of Allah, as well as the journey through a valley which they undertake, which is not recorded in their favour so that Allah may requite them with the best possible reward for all that they had been doing.
(122) It is not desirable that all the momineen should go forth together (and other affairs of the state are neglected). From within every group amongst them, some should go (to the centre) to comprehend deeper knowledge of the divine system. They should then convey this to their people on return so that they may also know what is to be guarded against.
(123) (On the other hand, war is also important for the protection of your deen) So, O Jamat-ul-Momineen! Fight hard against your enemies who are around you so that they may know how tough you are. At the same time you should keep in mind that Allah is with those who are duty-conscious.
(124-125) When any directive regarding war is revealed, some of the hypocrites say to the believers, “Which of you are they whose faith has been strengthened by these commandments?” They will certainly strengthen the faith of those who are true believers and make them rejoice. But as for those whose hearts are sick, such commandments will only add to the impurity within their hearts, so much so that they shall die as kafireen.
(126) Do these people not ponder over the fact that hardly any year passes when they are not put on trial once or twice? (9:14). Yet they pay no heed to such warnings and do not mend their ways.
(127) When any revelation is sent down which refers to the hypocrites, they look at each other and ask, “Does anyone suspect that this refers to any of us?” Then they turn aside and turning aside makes their hearts turn. This is because they have lost their capacity to understand.
(128) If they had reflected even a little, it would have become clear to them that it was a blessing for them that a Rasool had come to them from amongst themselves. When they are even slightly touched by suffering as a result of their own wrong-doings, this presses heavily on the Rasool’s heart and he ardently desires their welfare, and towards those from amongst you who are believers he is all compassion and tenderness.
(129) But, if despite this they still turn away, O Rasool say to them, “Allah suffices me. There is no authority but Him. In Him alone I place my trust because He is the Rabb and commands supremacy over all things in the universe.”
(1) The term najas (impure) occurs in the Qur’an in this instance only and means one who is immoral, faithless or wicked.
(2) Ruhbaan: The Arabic word is for anchorites, religious hermits of Judeo-Christian tradition, monks lived in monasteries, which were a common sight in pre renaissance period.
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